13 Turnaround Strategies When The Intimacy Stops In A Relationship (2024)

When intimacy stops in a relationship, it can feel like there’s nothing keeping you together.

When The Intimacy Stops In A Relationship
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It’s this sense of sexual desire and emotional connection that keeps a relationship strong during tough times. Without it, it might seem like you’re nothing more than good friends living under the same roof and seemingly getting on each other’s nerves more and more.

Most likely, you don’t want to remain in a relationship where the emotional intimacy has ground to a halt. 

The problem is: when intimacy issues begin in a long-term relationship, it can be hard to bring back the good times. 

Thankfully, it has proven to be possible to fix these types of relationship problems. This guide features 13 turnaround strategies to bring back the physical and emotional intimacy to a sexless relationship. 

In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients develop stronger relationships with those closest to them. That’s why I’m excited to share this guide with you.

So, let’s dive in.

Why Do Relationships Lose Intimacy?

When intimacy fades in your relationship, it’s common to think that it’s because your partner doesn’t love you anymore, or they’re at least not as sexually attracted as they once were. 

However, there are many factors that can cause this scenario between two partners.  

More often than not, it’s simply because one of you has started to take the relationship for granted. They probably still love you. They might still think you look amazing. They simply stopped putting in the effort to remind you. 

This is common in long-term relationships, especially when other problems and stresses begin to plague your partner’s mind. In such cases, showing love to you doesn’t become their priority, because they assume you’ll continue to love them and be with them no matter what.

It might also be that they feel you have stopped putting in the effort to be intimate with them, so they have stopped reciprocating. 

Communication is key in these situations and can stop nasty misunderstandings in your relationships. When one partner mentions that they fear the love fading in the relationship, the other person will usually wake up and put more effort into making their special person feel more appreciated.

At the very least, they can hopefully explain why the physical or emotional connection has broken and what you can each do to bring it back.        

Related: My Sexless Marriage Is Killing Me: 16 Solutions

What Happens When Intimacy Is Lost In A Relationship?

Effects Of Lack Of Intimacy In A Relationship

The most common effect of intimacy issues is that one or both partners begin to feel unloved. Physical intimacy and emotional intimacy are among the most universal ways to show love to your partner. Without one or the other, the other partner usually begins to feel something is wrong.

Related Content: Is Cuddling A Sign Of Love? 

Craving Intimacy In Relationship

When one partner begins to sense the intimacy fading in their relationship, they may take more desperate measures to get it back. This might start off as showing more love in order to receive it in return. An intelligent partner might try to talk about their feelings in a calm manner.

However, if that doesn’t work, a partner might quickly resort to more aggressive and frustrating measures, such as crying, complaining, or yelling at their partner for not showing the love they need.

Ultimately, an unsatisfied craving for intimacy in a relationship can often lead to someone seeking it elsewhere. Infidelity is rarely the solution to any relationship issue, but a lack of intimacy is one of the biggest causes of it.

Related: REAL Reasons Why Your Wife Avoids Intimacy + Solutions

Depression Caused By Lack Of Intimacy

It’s common to fall into depression when you sense the relationship with your true love falling apart – and that’s how intimacy issues can make people feel!

A physical and emotional connection with a loving partner can be the biggest stress reliever when everything else in one’s life is going wrong. It can be the biggest comfort to our mental health or self-esteem issues. But when that love disappears, life’s other stresses can fall on you like a ton of bricks.

If you begin to feel like this, the best initial solution is to talk to someone, if not your partner then a mental health professional. Don’t ever try to suffer through mental health issues alone.  

Breaking Up Because Of Lack Of Intimacy

A lack of sexual intimacy is often cited as a key reason for filing for divorce. Indeed, if intimacy issues aren’t fixed, it rarely feels as if you’re in a romantic relationship at all.

So, unless you want to break up with this person, you’ll need to figure out how to bring the intimacy back into your relationship, and pronto! 

Related: Scientific Signs Your Marriage Will End In Divorce

How Do You Know Intimacy Is Gone?

It’s most apparent when physical intimacy stops in your relationship because this is quantifiable. It’s objective when couples stop having intimacy or share less intimate experiences. It becomes clear when your partner gives you fewer hugs or kisses.

Intimacy Is Gone
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It’s less obvious when the emotional connection fades in a relationship, but this is just as crucial to help it survive. When your partner stops being as vulnerable, doesn’t compliment you as much, or makes less time to spend alone with you, these are all signs of emotional intimacy fading. If you’re responsible for this, that should be just as worrying.

It might be that one of you is still making these physical and emotional gestures, but these don’t feel as passionate as they once did. There’s no emotion behind them. It’s almost as if your partner is ‘dialing it in’. 

Signs Intimacy Is Gone

To summarise, you can be sure that your relationship is suffering from intimacy issues when;

  • you barely have intimacy or your intimacy life dries out completely; 
  • you barely hug, kiss or give other physical signs of affirmation;
  • you stop making time to spend alone together;
  • you stop sharing personal and emotional stories;
  • you stop offering compliments or words of support;  
  • you’re less emotionally vulnerable with each other;
  • there’s no passion behind your romantic gestures. 

Needless to say, this is rarely a relationship worth staying in. One or both of you will feel like breaking it off soon, if you don’t already.

However, I wouldn’t recommend calling it a day just yet. You two used to be deeply in love and it’s possible to bring that passion back. 

13 Turnaround Strategies When The Intimacy Stops In A Relationship

1. Talk About It

This really is the first step to fixing the problem. Sometimes, it only takes an honest conversation to inspire your partner to make more effort.

2. Work As A Team

Your efforts to rekindle the sexual desire in your relationship should feel like a team effort. It should never be you against your partner. Don’t blame them and don’t let them blame you. It should be you and them fighting against the problem.

3. Emotional Intimacy Creates Physical Intimacy

It’s rarely a lack of physical attraction that causes a lack of intimacy in a relationship. In most cases, sex stops when one partner feels unsupported emotionally. If you can make an effort to create more emotional intimacy in your relationships, you’ll often find that your partner’s sex drive skyrockets.

4. Fix The Problem

Once you’ve identified the underlying issues causing the lack of sex and emotional intimacy in your relationship, you need to be seen making an effort to fix them. This is your way of showing your partner that you care about improving your relationship.  

Related: Signs You & Your Partner Are Growing Apart & Solutions

5. De-Stress

When one or both halves of a couple are stressed or exhausted, their intimate life usually suffers. Sometimes, it only takes some time away from the stresses of everyday life to respark the sexual intimacy. Can you take a trip away or even make the time for a fun night out? It could do the world of good for your sexual relationship.  

6. Add Some Romance

Some men think romantic gestures are silly and pointless, especially when they’ve been in a relationship for a long time. That’s not true though. They make the special person in your life feel appreciated. It shows that you care about them. Honestly, most partners could benefit from  adding more small romantic gestures into their relationships.

7. Try To Impress Your Partner

Many partners allow their relationship to go stale because they stop trying to impress each other. In the early stages of dating, this is necessary because you’re not sure about one another yet. But most couples stop once they’re able to find happiness and have been together for a while. 

In some cases, they let themselves go. This can affect their partner’s sexual desire, not only because their partner doesn’t look as good, but also because it feels like they don’t care as much about them any more.

They say intimacy starts from the moment you make eye contact with your partner. So, can you make the effort to flirt with them when you see them in the morning? Can you arrange a date night to excite your partner like you did in the early days of dating?       

Related: How Long Is Too Long Without Sex In A Relationship?

8. Improve Yourself

When you keep making an effort to improve yourself, either physically or in other areas of life, it does a lot to keep sexual desire alive in your partner. Letting yourself go often achieves the opposite.

9. Rebuild The Trust In Your Relationship

Sometimes, sexual intimacy disappears in a relationship when one person has broken the other’s trust. If that’s the case, you need to work on fixing it.

Related Content: Common Marriage Reconciliation Mistakes To Avoid After Infidelity

10. Talk About Your Intimacy Issues

Sometimes, couples stop having intimacy due to some physical or emotional problem one person is experiencing.

You might feel uncomfortable talking about this, but it really is the first step to fixing the problem.

It’s better than staying silent and letting your partner believe it’s because you’re not attracted to them. Open communication is crucial when it comes to all things sexual. Your partner has sexual needs too and it’s unfair to deny them a sex life without an honest explanation. 

11. Spice Up Your Intimate Life

Sometimes, couples stop having intimacy because one or both partners get bored. In this case, it might be necessary to escape your comfort zone and take steps to spice up your intimate lives. Is there something different that you or your partner always wanted to try? Maybe that will add enough excitement to reignite your intimacy life. 

12. Try Couples Therapy 

If you’ve taken steps to try and boost the emotional and physical intimacy in your relationship without success, it’s worth hiring professional help. 

Couples Therapy
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Find a licensed marriage counselor, family therapist, or relationship coach. There are many different job titles in this line of work, but they’ll each be able to provide a safe space for you to share your feelings with your partner. This will help you better understand the way your partner sees things and vice versa.  

A good coach will encourage honest communication and be able to lead you towards a solution to help improve your intimate lives, without the conversation breaking down into a huge argument.

This form of couples therapy can work wonders.  

Related: Intimacy Coach – 8 Facts Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s round off this guide with the answers to some frequently asked questions about a lack of  physical or emotional intimacy in a relationship. 

How To Deal With Rejection From A Partner

It can hurt to be rejected by your partner in an intimate relationship. Your first step should be to talk about how the rejection made you feel. Most likely, they didn’t mean to make you feel this way and they’ll explain things from their point of view. Now you’re in a conversation about how to fix things.

The most important thing to remember is you two are a team, working to make the relationship stronger. If you start fighting battles or trying to get revenge on your partner, you’re only going to make it harder to reconcile.

Related Content: Benefits Of Embracing Rejection & Strategies    

What Lack Of Intimacy Does To A Woman?

Emotional connection is crucial to a woman in an intimate relationship. Without it, she’ll rarely feel any sexual desire for her partner.

A lack of emotional intimacy – and therefore physical intimacy – can lead her to feel unloved. This can lead to other forms of deeper emotional problems. For example, this might make her feel unattractive, worthless, depressed or anxious about breaking up. 

Related Content: Tips To Know That You Are Good Enough  

What Lack Of Intimacy Does To A Man?

A man can also feel hurt when he feels the emotional connection fading with his partner. It would be naive to think otherwise.

In fact, there are few differences between the genders when it comes to a lack of physical or emotional intimacy in a relationship. 

It’s often suggested that a man is more hurt by the lack of physical intimacy in a marriage, perhaps because a man tends to keep his drive longer in old age, but this can impact both genders just as badly.

Related Content: Sexless Marriage: Dangerous Effects On Husband 

Can A Relationship Survive Lack Of Intimacy?

It’s very difficult. Emotional and sexual intimacy are among the things we crave most in this life. When intimacy stops in a relationship, we often feel the urge to seek it elsewhere.

In fact, it could easily be argued that a relationship without intimacy isn’t a relationship at all. Without an intimate connection, you’re nothing more than good friends at most.

In many cases, when a hint of potential intimacy appears elsewhere, most people will be inspired to leave their sexless relationship to pursue this new opportunity. 

That’s why it’s key to repair the intimate connection in your relationship as soon as possible.

Any More Questions?

Thanks for reading my guide on how to bring the spark back to your long-term relationship. I hope it helps you to create a more happy and healthy relationship with your partner in the future.

Many couples struggle with their relationship going ‘stale’ at some point. Intimacy stops or at least slows down in most relationships and it’s up to both partners to solve this issue together. It’s absolutely possible to do this, especially when the emotional connection remains in your relationship.   

If you have any questions about improving your romantic relationships, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

It would be great to hear from you. 

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.